How to Make Lemon Curd

Lemon curd isn't hard to make from scratch! The reward is a spread that's smooth, creamy, sweet, and tart. Lemon curd is great in cakes or pies, spread on scones, or licked right off the spoon.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup of lemon juice, from about 4 large lemons
  • Zest of four lemons
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Pinch of salt

Method

1 Get organized: Once you start making the lemon curd, it’s best not to pause. Make sure all of your ingredients and equipment are prepped and ready so you can quickly grab each as you need it. Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium sized bowl, and set this next to your stove. Have a whisk and a rubber spatula ready to go.

Lemon Curd Recipe lemons in a bowlHomemade Lemon Curd cutting the butterEasy Lemon Curd Recipe zesting the lemon

2 Heat the curd on the stovetop: In a medium sauce pan, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Set over medium heat. Continue whisking until fully combined and uniform in consistency.

Continue whisking and the add the juice, zest and a pinch of salt. Once that looks well incorporated, add the butter a piece or two at a time while whisking continuously. Let each piece partially melt before adding more. As you whisk, make sure you get into the nooks and crannies of your pot.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe starting the curdRecipe for Lemon Curd add the zest

3 Continue cooking the curd until thickened: Continue to cook the curd, whisking occasionally until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency, about 10 minutes total from the start of cooking. Remove from heat. (The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.)

Lemon Curd Recipe thickened curd

4 Strain the curd: Strain your curd through the fine mesh sieve to remove the zest and any cooked eggy bits. Use a spatula to push the curd through, then stir for another two minutes to help it cool down more quickly.

5 Cool and refrigerate: Transfer the curd to a jar with an airtight lid, but leave it uncovered as it cools (I use Ball or Weck canning jars) on the counter top for about 15 minutes. Once at room temp, cover tightly with the lid and transfer to fridge or freezer.

Recipe for Lemon Curd

6 Store the curd: Lemon curd will keep in your refrigerator for up to a month according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 1 year. To thaw, transfer your curd from the freezer to the fridge 24 hours before you need it.